United Bank for Africa Plc and the German development finance institution, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), have formed a partnership to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Both institutions have agreed to a term-facility agreement worth $50 million. The facility, which has a six-year term, is aimed at assisting SMEs and family-owned businesses.
Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Chief Executive Officer of UBA America, spoke about the partnership, saying that as a financial institution, UBA is committed to the growth of the private sector and small businesses, which she believes is critical for any developing country.
She stated that the desire to see this sector succeed drove both organizations to collaborate on this laudable achievement.
Yomi-Ajayi, who is also the Global Head for Financial Institutions, Multilateral and Development Organizations, stated that UBA Group is proud of its collaboration with DEG, particularly because it promotes financial intervention in the SME space, enables financial inclusion, and facilitates economic empowerment.
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“These objectives remain core aspects of our strategy, particularly as regards to facilitating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent,” Yomi-Ajayi said.
Bernhard Tilemann, DEG’s Regional Director for West Africa, stated that the development finance institution was delighted to enter into a long-term partnership with UBA in Nigeria and the region.
“This cooperation will address the current economic challenges of the country while fostering private sector growth and impact in the largest economy of the continent,” Tilermann said.
According to Tilemann, DEG funding is supplemented in part by the EB-SME Finance Fund Emerging Markets, whose adviser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evangelische Bank (EB).
The Regional Director noted that DEG has offices on the African continent in Lagos, Abidjan, Johannesburg, and Nairobi and that the relocation is a significant milestone for DEG’s Regional Representative Office in Lagos, which opened in 2019.
DEG is one of the world’s largest private-sector development financiers, with a portfolio of approximately EUR 8.5 billion spread across approximately 80 countries. DEG has been a partner to private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging markets for nearly 60 years. It offers customers customized solutions such as financing, promotional programs, and advice tailored to their specific needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while also adding value to the local economy and creating qualified jobs.